It ain’t summer no more but let me show you what I DID have fun eating! This past August, I discovered Chez Renauld in Saint-Jean-de-Luz; a “buvette éphémère,” a handful of summer food stands that set up shop in a huge garage right in the heart of Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
What used to be a 600 square meter abandoned car garage was transformed into a local hub of food trucks, a central bar, a karaoke room, vintage pinball machines, a foosball table, heaps of lounge chairs and weekly live music performances.
Chez Renauld has only been up and running ever since the summer of 2015 and it seems as if it has cemented its place as a local favourite on this side of the Basque Country.
If you were lucky enough to check out Chez Renauld this past summer, they were open every day from June until the end of September. And if not, hang tight, Chez Renauld will be back next summer 😉
My first time here, I went all out. I tried E V E R Y T H I N G (well, except for the vegetarian sushi stand that wasn’t open on that day)! First stop, Ensunza for their cured jambon bellota (Spanish Ibérico de Bellota ham). My boyfriend and I got the assiette jambon bellota AOC that was cured for 36 months and a side of green olives. The olives were delicious and so addictive! Bellota ham is downright melt-in-your-mouth sinful; the fat is so soft that the ham literally melts in your mouth. This wasn’t the case for our platter of Bellota ham though. It was a little more tough, more akin to the texture of Jambon Bayonne.
Next stop was Taco Queen. We were pretty damn excited to get our taco onnnn and ordered two of each different flavour. There was the Tequila Bœuf, marinated beef in tequila and lime juice, corn, shredded comté cheese, tomato sauce and homemade guacamole, Coriander Lime Chicken, marinated chicken with cilantro and lime juice, cabbage, pineapples and Espelette spice cream, Taco Queen Porc, porc with pineapples, onions, lettuce and a house tropical sauce. To be honest, I found that all three meats were lacking in flavour. It was pretty disappointing ????
We then moved on to Star Truck burgers. A vintage Airstream trailer transformed into a burger food truck, Star Truck burgers can also be found parked up daily at Nomad’s Land in Bidart or even for private catering events. We ordered the Joey Starr burger with fries which came with sliced tomatoes, cheddar cheese, greens, fried onions and their secret sauce. If you like your burger buns soft and airy, then you’ll like Star Truck burgers. I quite liked the Joey Starr burger but my favourite burger in the region still goes to C.A.B burger from Biarritz!
And then, there was Donnie Bagel. It’s been a good while since I’ve had a bagel (miss my Tim Horton blueberry bagels with cream cheese :P) and Donnie Bagel definitely delivered! We went with the Bagel Des Famillles, a roast beef bagel with mustard mayo and arugula greens. It ’twas goood! The perfect bagel density and everything in between were perfect. The bagel was my 2nd fave at Chez Renauld.
Upon entry of Chez Renauld, you will notice on your right-hand side, a brightly lit van in white and red with the sign, Chez Lucette. It would be hard to miss this dessert truck; offering a variety of Paries pastries such as the infamous gateau basque, eclair au chocolat, sweet and salty popcorn, corte de nata (a Spanish dessert that is basically a wafer ice cream sandwich), baba au limoncello pastries, New York style cheesecake, ice creams and sorbets and lastly, crepes! After indulging myself with cured ham, a burger, a bagel and tacos, the top of my jeans gently nudged me towards a caramel crepe with whipped cream. I didn’t get a clear picture of my crepe but it was yum! Chez Lucette also sold a variety of American goodies like Fluff marshmallow spread, Reese peanut butter cups, Lifesavers and Mr. Goodbar chocolate bar.
Right next to Chez Lucette is the Donnie Hotdog stand. My first time at Chez Renauld, they weren’t open so I had to come back to try out these hot dogs when they were! Boy oh boy, the wait was WORTH it. The Donnie hotdogs were definitely my favourite. The hot dog buns were steamed perfectly, the condiments were simple and more than adequate; relish, fried onions with ketchup and yellow mustard. I easily wolfed down 2 of these ????
Upon some research, it seems that Chez Lucette and Donnie Hotdog are run by the same people that own Donnie Bagel. You can find Donnie Bagel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz from 11:30am to 3pm from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Based on their Instagram feed, they have a little section in their shop that also sells the aforementioned American food goodies from Chez Lucette in addition to Jif peanut butter, Aunt Jemima maple syrup, Kraft macaroni and cheese, Campbell tomato soup cans, Betty Crocker cookie and fudge mixes to name a few.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to test out Etxe Nami, the Japanese meet Basque vegetarian bento stand but they do have their own restaurant in Saint-Jean-de-Luz which serves organic, locally sourced fish as well as mainly vegetarian dishes. They also boast a boutique that sells books, apparel, handmade ceramics, etc from Japan as well as an atelier that offers cooking classes.
For those that were seeking to quench their thirst sans alcohol, there was Niuju, a cold pressed, organic juice stand next to the karaoke room. They had pressed bottled juices in their fridge or freshly pressed juices called, “les Cocktail santés” (healthy cocktails). I really enjoyed After Party, le jus anti-gueule de bois (hangover juice LOL) which consisted of apples, watermelon, cucumber, celery, lemon juice and ginger. It was light and refreshing! Their ‘Cocktail of the Day’ was called Nashi Boost which had Nashi pear, fresh aloe vera, cucumber, lemon juice and ginger. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of this juice combo but the After Party was a sure winner for me! Véronique, the owner of Niuju also sells her pressed bottled juices online and they are available for delivery throughout France.
And so that wraps up my Chez Renauld summer-fun-eats! Excited to see the new line up of food trucks at Chez Renauld next summer… Till next year!✌????
May The Pinchables Be With You,
Location: 4 Boulevard Victor Hugo, 64500 Saint-Jean-de-Luz, France.
Hours: June to end of September yearly
Monday to Saturday : 6:30pm to 2am
Sunday : 6:30pm to 4am
Ensunza Bellota Guijuelo : http://www.ensunza.fr
Star Truck Burgers : https://www.star-truck.fr